Amistad Arrives at New London's Sailfest

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The Freedom Schooner Amistad is a replica of the Cuban slave ship that sailed from Havana in 1839 with a cargo of African captives only to become an icon of the abolitionist movement. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

    The Freedom Schooner Amistad arrived Saturday in New London for Sailfest after the event went on Friday without the replica of the famous slave ship.

    The schooner sailed  from New Haven's Amistad Pier to New London along the Thames River, bringing excitement and history to City Pier.

    “We are excited to be here. So much work went into making this happen, we’re grateful for the hard work of our crew and everyone that pitched in to make this happen.” Hanifa Washington, executive director of Amistad America Inc. “We look forward to a fantastic weekend at Sailfest."

    Free deck tours will run at the top of every hour through 6 p.m., giving visitors information on the history of the Amistad. Hours will be extended if needed, according to a news release.

    After threatening to cut funding to the Amistad if the ship did not make it to Sailfest, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he was pleased the schooner arrived.

    "I'm very pleased that the Amistad is making the trip to New London to take part in Sailfest," Malloy said in a statement. "This event draws a hundred thousand residents to the city, and by being there, the Amistad reminds everyone of an important chapter of our state's history."

    The fireworks at Sailfest are scheduled to start at 9 p.m. on Saturday and the event continues through Sunday. More information is available on the Sailfest website.